It is the turn of the year and I don’t know about you but I’ve already got a gut full of politics. I have just about “had it up to here.” The most disturbing aspect of all this is the antics of the so-called Christian “leaders.” The “Religious Right” is in grave danger of becoming the “religious wrong.” Along with the disgusting concentration on pre-election politics is the equally disgusting lack of concentration on what really matters: following Christ.
I have to believe that Jesus really meant it when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting…but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36). His life, ministry and teaching were decidedly “not of this realm.” His emphasis was the Kingdom of God, eternal life and preparation for it.
Yes, He was deeply concerned with justice, mercy and love for neighbors and enemies. When it came to earthly kingdoms and their governments, however, he was decidedly silent. Can you imagine Him endorsing a candidate — even in our time? Yet we read stuff like this:
“The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon is making an urgent plea to Christian voters in Iowa to vote for Newt Gingrich in their caucuses on Tuesday in what he describes as the “most critical” election in American history” (Newsmax.com, December 31, 2011).
This, in spite of repeated warnings by the Holy Spirit not to put our hope in human beings (Psalm 118:8-9; Proverbs 20:6; Jeremiah 17:5).
The only thing that can change this world for the better is the spread of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the values of His Kingdom. Earthly kingdoms, empires, nations and governments can never approach the power for good resident in the Kingdom of God. Faith, hope and love are not the results of the legislative, judicial or administrative processes. So, why are our leaders seeking to manipulate earthly politics? Could it be because they have lost faith the Kingdom and its King?
It is the right of all citizens of all democracies to participate in the government of the people, by the people and for the people. As Christians, we should consider the issues and the candidates and vote according to our Christian consciences. At the same time, we must beware of placing undue trust or emphasis upon or in this process.
Our emphasis must be upon Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We must seek to influence our cultures by trying to live, look, love and smell like Him (2 Corinthians 2:14). To put our trust in politicians is to risk stinking like them and, considering our present congress, behold, the stench thereof rises to high heaven.
You shepherds of your flocks, put your hope and trust in Jesus, the only one who can change hearts and minds and thus change our world for the better. Proclaim Him. Emulate Him. Gather disciples to Him. Don’t place your trust in some flawed human being. Only Christ can turn this capsized world right side up.